Women's Basketball - Fri, Dec. 9, 2005
Lebanon, Ill. - Despite a game-high 26 points by junior guard Candis Jackson (Chicago, Ill./Whitney Young), the No. 19 ranked Saint Xavier University women's basketball team could not hold on to claim its fourth straight win falling 71-66 to McKendree College (Ill.) Friday at the Melvin Price Convocation Center in Lebanon, Ill. Junior forward Emily Hart led McKendree (4-8 overall) with 24 points and a game-high 13 rebounds, while SXU falls to 6-3 overall with the loss.

Jackson shot an impressive 11-for-18 (61 percent) from the field and pulled down a team-high eight rebounds for the Cougars. Sophomore guard Clarise Jones (Chicago, Ill./Regina Dominican) provided Saint Xavier with a lift off the bench Friday scoring 12 points, while sophomore forward Jackie Heine (Hampshire, Ill./Hampshire) also finished in double figures with 10 points in addition to her seven rebounds. SXU got off to a hot start in the game shooting 50 percent (15-for-30) in the first half to take a 37-34 advantage into halftime.

The Cougars led by as many as 10 early in the second half, but the Bearcats used a 12-2 run to tie the game, 49-49, before the Cougars edged back out to a 62-56 lead with 4:22 remaining. Best helped McKendree regain the lead for good making four straight free throws to trim the deficit to two, 62-60. After Jones scored on a jumper to push SXU's lead back to four, 64-60, Best hit a shot in the lane and then converted on a three-point play to give McKendree a 65-64 lead with 1:52 remaining.

Jackson brought the Cougars within one again, 67-66, with 1:11 to play. However, sophomore forward Heather Elders and junior guard Katie Hasheider each made a pair of free throws in the final minute to help McKendree pull away for the win. SXU shot just 33 percent (11-for-33) in the second half.

Saint Xavier (6-3 overall) heads to San Diego, Calif., on Saturday, December 17, to take part in the Point Loma Nazarene University (Calif.) Tournament. The Cougars will play Central Methodist College (Mo.) at 5 p.m. (pacific) on the 17th before taking on Baker University (Kan.) on Monday, December 19, in a 2 p.m. match-up.